Sete Gibernau triumphed at the French Grand Prix on Sunday after battling hard with world champion Valentino Rossi for his second victory of the season.

Sete Gibernau triumphed at the French Grand Prix on Sunday after battling hard with world champion Valentino Rossi for his second victory of the season.

The race in Le Mans was a 13-lap chase after rain delayed the event and forced a restart. It was brought to a halt after 15 laps with Rossi leading, but with the second part of the race being run under the new FIM rules, the previous aggregate race now had become a straight race to the flag.

With most of the riders using to use wet tyres, Rossi led with Tohru Ukawa, Max Biaggi, Alex Barros and Sete Gibernau fighting for second position.

Eventually the fight for first was on between Gibernau and Rossi. Rossi took the lead with two laps remaining only to see the Spaniard clinch it before the last lap.

Barros was third, Yamaha’s first podium finish of the season. Olivier Jacque took fourth and Max Biaggi fifth. Biaggi and Jacque opted to start from the pit lane after last-minute tyre changes.

Both Ducatis did not finish with Loris Capirossi having to retire and Troy Bayliss crashing out on lap six of the first leg. Nobuatsu Aoki also fell and Carlos Checa slid out in the formative stages.

“I was pretty fortunate. In the dry I felt quite good but Valentino had pulled three seconds out on us. I was fighting in a tough group and he was able to get away. In the wet race all three of us used rain tyres and it was a good battle and a nice spectacle. Any one of us could have won in difficult conditions,” said Gibernau.

“I think it was more difficult to lose that race than to win. In the dry I had a great setting on the bike and was in control. During the second heat we put on a good show and I think all three of us had fun.

“It was as interesting for us as it was for the fans. I could not open the throttle with as much conviction in the wet and I tried hard to pass Sete on the last few corners but ran slightly wide. Still, this result is good for the Championship,” said Rossi.

Rossi now has a 23-point lead in the championship standings over Biaggi with Gibernau third with 27.

Toni Elias won the 250cc race and Dani Pedrosa leads the 125cc standings after victory at Le Mans.

Original article from Car